Compilation of Weekly Presidential Documents - Monday, December 6, 1999 Volume 35, Issue 48; ISSN: 0511-4187 Statement on signing consolidated appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2000

Monday, December 6, 1999


Volume 35, Issue 48; ISSN: 0511-4187


Statement on signing consolidated appropriations legislation for fiscal year


William J Clinton



� November 29,1999



� I have signed into law H.R. 3194, the Consolidated Appropriations

Act for FY 2000. 1 am pleased that my Administration and the

Congress were able to reach agreement on the first budget of the

21st Century-producing a hard-won ,ictory for the American People.



� This legislation makes progress on several important fronts. It

puts education first, honoring our commitment to hire 100,000

qualified teachers to lower class size in the early grades and

doubling the funds for after school and summer school programs.



� It makes America a safer place. The bill provides an acceptable

funding level for my 21st Century Policing Initiative, which builds

on the success of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)

program. To date, the COPS program has funded more than 100,000

additional police officers for our streets. This bill funds the

first increment of the 21st Century Policing initiative, which will

place an additional 30,000 to 50,000 police officers on the street

over the next 5 years, while expanding the concept of community

policing to include community prosecution and law enforcement

technology assistance. I appreciate the Congress' efforts to forge a

bipartisan commitment to the program, which will build upon our

successful efforts to reduce crime in our communities.



� The bill strengthens our effort to preserve natural areas and

protect our environment by its support of my Lands Legacy

Initiative. I am very pleased that the bill does not include most of

the environmental riders that would have put special interests above

the national interest.



� This budget agreement also strengthens America's leadership role in

the world by paying our dues and arrears to the U.N.; by meeting our

commitments to the Middle East peace process; by making critical

investments in debt relief for the poorest countries, by enhancing

the security of our overseas personnel; by providing for new,

critical peacekeeping missions; and by funding efforts to safeguard

nuclear weapons in Russia.



� Labor/Health and Human Serviced Education Bill



� Specifically, I am pleased that the legislation provides $1.3

billion for the second installment of my plan to help reduce class

size in the early grades. The Republican proposal did not guarantee

funding for the teachers hired last year and would have instead

allowed Class Size dollars to be used for virtually any activity,

including vouchers. The final budget agreement supports the over

29,000 teachers hired last year plus an additional 2,500 teachers.



� The bill appropriately includes several other high priority

education initiatives. One million students will continue to be

served by the Reading Excellence Initiative and 375,000 more

students than last year will have access to 21st Century Community

Learning Centers. By providing $145 million for Public Charter

Schools, approximately 650 more schools than last year will receive

startup funding..



� I commend the Congress for providing increases to several programs

in my Hispanic Education Agenda that address the disproportionately

low educational achievement and high dropout rates of Latino and

limited English proficient students. The Hispanic Education Agenda

includes programs such as Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies

(LEAs), Adult Education, Bilingual Education, the High School

Equivalency and College Assistance Migrant Programs (HEP/ CAMP),

Hispanic-serving Institutions, and support services to promote the

graduation of low-income college students (TRIO).



� I am disappointed, however, that this legislation does not provide

any of the funding that I specifically requested for Troops to

Teachers. This lack of funding jeopardizes this program, which would

have provided 3,000 new teachers in high-need subject areas and

school districts.



� I am pleased that the bill funds most of my major proposals for job

training, worker protection programs, and grants for working with

developing countries to establish core labor standards. For example,

$1.6 billion is included for dislocated worker assistance, enabling

the program to provide training and re-employmentservices to

858,500 dislocated workers. Since 1993, my Administration has

succeeded in tripling funding for, and participation in, programs

that help dislocated workers return to work.



� As authorized in the bipartisan Workforce Investment Act of 1998,

the Congress has provided $140 million to expand services to job

seekers at One-Stop centers.



� I am pleased that the bill provides the funds I requested for major

youth job training programs. Specifically, the bill includes the

$250 million I requested for Youth Opportunity Grants to finance the

second year of the 5-year competitive grants that provide education,

training, and support services to 58,000 youth in Empowerment Zones

and Enterprise Communities. In addition, the bill provides the $1

billion for Youth Activities Formula Grants to provide training and

summer employment opportunities to an estimated 577,700 youth. Also

it includes $55 million for the final year of Federal funding for

the School-to-Work initiative. The bill provides $1.4 billion for

the job Corps program, including financing for enhanced follow-up

services for graduates, completion of a four-center expansion

initiated in FY 1998, and construction of Head Start child care

facilities on five job Corps campuses.



� The bill provides $83 million, or 8 percent above the FY 1999

enacted level, for labor law enforcement agencies, funding key

initiatives to ensure workplace safety, address domestic child labor

abuses, encourage equal pay, assist in complying with pension law,

and promote family leave.



� I am especially pleased that this legislation includes critically

needed changes to the Welfare-to-Work program's eligibility

requirements. We have worked closely with the Congress to ensure

these changes were enacted this year. By simplifying eligibility,

this legislation will allow the Welfare-to-Work program, within

existing resources, to serve more effectively long-term welfare

recipients and noncustodial parents of low-income children. The bill

also establishes an alternative penalty that is tough, but fair, for

States that have not implemented certain child support enforcement




� This legislation fully funds my request for Head Start, adding up

to 44,000 new slots for low-income children and continuing on the

path to serve one million children by FY 2002.



� Unfortunately, the bill reduces the Social Services Block Grant by

$134 million below the FY 1999 level, undermining programs serving

our most vulnerable families.



� The bill includes historic investments in biomedical research,

mental health, pediatric training, and a number of other critically

important public health initiatives. It also makes an essential

downpayment on my Safety Net proposal, which is designed to provide

financial and technical support to those providing a

disproportionate amount of care to the uninsured. Lastly, it

provides payment restorations to hospitals, nursing homes, and other

providers serving the 39 million elderly and disabled beneficiaries.



� It also provides a $34.5 billion investment in health programs,

11.7 percent above the FY 1999 enacted level, including an historic

increase of $2.3 billion for the National Institutes of Health.

These new initiatives will strengthen the public health

infrastructure, provide critical prevention and treatment services

to individuals with mental illness, and invest in pediatric training

programs. Specifically, the bill provides $40 million to support

graduate medical education at freestanding children's hospitals,

which play an essential role in the education of the Nation's

pediatricians; $67 million above the FY 1999 funding level for the

Mental Health Block Grant, a 23 percent increase over FY 1999 and

the largest increase ever; $30 million for health education,

prevention, and treatment services to address health disparities

among minority populations; and an additional $62 million over FY

1999 funding levels to provide critical immunizations to children

nationwide. The $239 million for the Title X Family Planning program

will enable family planning clinics to extend comprehensive

reproductive health care services to an additional 500,000 clients

who are neither Medicaid-eligible nor insured. In addition, the $25

million for the Health Care for the Uninsured Initiative will

support the development of integrated systems of care and address

service gaps within these systems.



� It provides $25 million, a full down payment on our proposed $1

billion investment to develop integrated systems of care for the

uninsured. It also dedicates an additional $15 million to identify

the best ways to deliver health care coverage to this population. I

am pleased that the bill includes a $73 million increase in funding

for HIV prevention activities to help stop the spread of this

disease; an increase of $183 million in the Ryan White CARE Act,

which helps provide primary care and support for those living with

HIV/AIDS; and an estimated $300 million in additional funds for

AIDS-related research at the NIH. The bill also includes $80 million

in funding to the Minority AIDS Initiative, which utilizes existing

programs to reach African-Americans, Latinos, and other racial and

ethnic minorities that are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS,

as well as an additional $100 million to fight AIDS internationally.

Finally, the Administration helped protect local authority over HIV

prevention activities, successfully removing language from the

District of Columbia appropriations bill that would have tied the

hands of community health agencies in their ability to use needle

exchange programs as part of their overall HIV prevention strategy.



� The bill includes $264 million to expand HHS' bioterrorism

initiative. It provides $52 million for the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention's (CDC) national pharmaceutical stock pile

and $123 million for CDC to expand national, State, and local

epidemiologic, laboratory, and surveillance planning capacity, as

well as to conduct a vaccine study. The bill also fully funds my

request to expand the number of Metropolitan Medical Response

Systems that can respond to the health and medical consequences of a

chemical, biological, or nuclear incident, and to enhance smallpox

and anthrax vaccine research and development. I am particularly

pleased that the bill funds the creation of a new national

electronic disease surveillance system, which will also help detect

outbreaks and strengthen the public health delivery system.



� I commend the Congress for providing funding for my Nursing Home

Initiative, including resources for more rigorous inspections of

nursing facilities and improved Federal oversight of nursing home

quality, and for funding the 31-percent increase in Home-Delivered

Meals that I requested.



� Finally, the bill also includes the Balanced Budget Refinement Act

of 1999, which invests $16 billion over 5 years to address the

flawed policy and excessive payment reductions resulting from the

Balanced Budget Act of 1997. It lifts caps on therapy services,

increases payments for very sick nursing home patients, restores

teaching hospital funding, and eases the transition to the new

prospective payment system for hospital outpatients. It also

includes provisions to limit cost-sharing requirements for Medicare

beneficiaries and extends coverage of important immunosuppressive

drugs. Unfortunately, it includes provisions that are not

justifiable, such as a $4 billion payment increase to managed care

plans that are already overpaid according to most experts. This is

troubling because any excess payments from the Medicare trust fund

put the program at greater risk.



� Commerce/Justice/State Bill



� Regrettably, the bill does not contain a needed hate crimes

provision that was included in the Senate version of the bill. I

urge the Congress to pass legislation in a timely manner that would

strengthen the Federal Government's ability to combat hate crimes by

relaxing jurisdictional obstacles and by giving Federal prosecutors

the ability to prosecute hate crimes that are based on sexual

orientation, gender, or disability, along with those based on race,

color, religion, and national origin.



� I am pleased that we were able to secure additional funds for the

Legal Services Corporation. Adequate funding for legal services is

essential to ensuring that all citizens have access to the Nation's

justice system. Similarly, through negotiations with the Congress,

the funding level for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

(EEOC) was increased above the FY 1999 enacted level. The additional

funds will assist the EEOC in its continued progress in reducing the

backlog of employment discrimination cases.



� The bill funds my requested $13 million increase for the Department

of justice's Civil Rights Division. These funds will support law

enforcement actions related to hate crimes, the Americans with

Disabilities Act, and fair housing and lending.



� The legislation contains adequate funding for the decennial census,

and includes a compromise on language requiring the Census Bureau to

allocate funds among eight functions or frameworks. With the

decennial census approaching, I am confident that this language will

not inhibit the Census Bureau's ability to actually conduct the




� The United States has recently entered into the U.S.-Canada Pacific

Salmon Agreement. The Agreement ends years of contention between the

U.S. and Canada regarding expired fishing harvest restrictions and

provides for improved fisheries management. I am pleased that

legislative riders that would have hindered implementation of this

important Agreement have been modified or removed from the bill. in

addition, additional funds have been provided for implementation of

the Agreement and for other salmon recovery efforts. These funds

will allow us to work cooperatively with our partnersCanada, a

number of western States, and Treaty Tribes-to implement the

Agreement and to restore Pacific coastal salmon runs.



� The bill does not provide additional requested funding to the

Department of justice for tobacco litigation, but does not preclude

the expenditure of funds for this purpose. We will identify existing

resources to pursue this important case. Smoking-related health

expenses cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year through

Medicare, veterans' and military health, and other Federal health

programs. The $20 million I requested is needed to represent the

interests of the taxpayers, who should not have to bear the

responsibility for these staggering costs.



� Critical funds were added to help our Nation's 24 million small

businesses. The bill now includes $16.5 million for my New Markets

Initiative to invest in targeted rural and urban areas. Also,

funding levels were increased for the Small Business

Administration's (SBA) operating expenses and disaster loan program.

These funds will enable the SBA to provide critical services,

including a fast and effective response to Hurricane Floyd.



� I regret that a provision is included that would amend the recently

enacted Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2000,

that could limit the access of Federal government employees to

contraceptive coverage.



� Foreign Operations Bill and Other International Affairs

Appropriations and Authorizations



� I am pleased that we were able to reach bipartisan agreement with

the Congress on a level of funding for international affairs

programs that supports our continued engagement on key global

issues. Most notably, we were able to agree to meet our obligations

to the United Nations, which will allow us to keep our vote in the

General Assembly. We also obtained additional funding for

international peacekeeping efforts seeking to redress the

instability and suffering caused by conflicts in East Timor, Kosovo,

and Afri



� The bill includes my full request for the Wye River Agreement,

which will support our partners in the Middle East as they

accelerate their historic attempt to secure a permanent peace. We

gained bilateral funding for the new Cologne debt reduction

initiative, as well as agreement from the Congress to allow the

International Monetary Fund to use existing resources to finance its

portion of the initiative, allowing us to begin to lessen the

crushing debt burden that many of the world's poorest nations face

as they try to implement difficult economic and democratic reforms.



� unfortunately, the bill also includes a provision on international

family planning that I have strongly opposed throughout my

Administration. This is a one-time provision that imposes additional

restrictions on international family planning groups. However, I

insisted that the Congress allow for a Presidential waiver

pro-vision, which I have exercised today.



� I have instructed USAID to implement the new restrictions on family

planning money in such a way as to minimize to the extent possible

the impact on international family planning efforts and to respect

the rights of citizens to speak freely on issues of importance in

their countries, such as the rights of women to make their own

reproductive decisions. As I have stated before, I do not believe it

is appropriate to limit foreign NGOs' use of their own money, or

their ability to participate in the democratic process in their own

countries. Thus, I will oppose inclusion of this restriction in any

future apPropriations bill.



� The bill takes a step in the right direction in terms of paying our

dues and our debts to the United Nations and other international

organizations. The bill includes most of the funds requested for

U.N. arrears, as well as the United Nations Reform Act, which

authorizes payment of these arrears contingent upon certain U.N.

reforms. My Administration is committed to making sure that all of

our debts are paid, and, while doing so, pressing for reforms that

will make the U.N. more efficient and effective.



� International peacekeeping activities in this bill are funded at a

level of $500 million, $300 million above the level in the bill that

I vetoed. This additional funding is crucial and will support the

United States' response to emergent peacekeeping requirements in

Kosovo, Asia, and Africa. In each of these places, the United States

has worked with allies and friends to end conflicts that have

claimed countless innocent lives and thrown whole regions into

turmoil. This funding will help America do its part to make and keep

the peace in troubled regions.



� On a number of other critical foreign policy priorities, we were

able to achieve bipartisan agreements that will directly affect the

lives of Americans and others alike. We fully funded a new

initiative that will significantly expand our efforts to stem the

spread of HIV/ AIDS in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.

We significantly increased funding for programs aimed at reducing

the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union

and elsewhere. We agreed to a significant package of assistance to

Kosovo and Southeastern Europe that will help to solidify the

fragile peace that we and our NATO allies have secured. We initiated

new programs that will help to provide alternatives to the child

labor practices that are still too prevalent in much of the world. I

am particularly pleased the bill provides my full request for

embassy security to protect the men and women who serve our country




� There are still important commitments and goals that were not

adequately addressed in this bill. I am disappointed that we did not

achieve all of the funding that we need to fully implement the

multilateral portion of the Cologne debt initiative, and that we

were not able to meet our commitments to provide multilateral

environmental assistance through the Global Environment Facility.

However, in total, this bill demonstrates that the bipartisan

consensus that America must remain engaged in global affairs, which

has guided our interaction with the rest of the world since the end

of the Second World War, is still very much alive and well, and I am

hopeful that it will continue to guide our foreign policy into the

21st Century.



� I continue to believe that various provisions prohibiting

implementation of the Kyoto Protocol in this bill are unnecessary,

as my Administration has no intent of implementing the Protocol

prior to ratification. Furthermore, I will consider activities that

meet our responsibilities under the ratified U.N. Framework

Convention on Climate Change to be consistent with this provision.

Finally, to the extent these provisions could be read to prevent the

United States from negotiating with foreign governments about

climate change, it would be inconsistent with my constitutional

authority. Accordingly, I will construe this provision as not

detracting from my authority to engage in the many activities, both

formal and informal, that constitute negotiations relating to

climate chane.



� This legislation includes a number of provisions in the various

Acts incorporated in it regarding the conduct of foreign affairs

that raise serious constitutional concerns. These provisions would

direct or burden my negotiations with foreign governments and

international organizations, as well as intrude on my ability to

maintain the confidentiality of sensitive diplomatic negotiations.

Similarly, some provisions would constrain my Commander in Chief

authority and the exercise of my exclusive authority to receive

ambassadors and to conduct diplomacy. Other provisions raise

concerns under the Appointments and Recommendation Clauses. My

Administration's objections to most of these and other provisions

have been made clear in previous statements of Administration policy

and other communications to the Congress. Wherever possible, I will

construe these provisions to be consistent with my constitutional

prerogatives and responsibilities and where such a construction is

not possible, I will treat them as not interfering with those

prerogatives and responsibilities.



� District Of Columbia Bill



� With respect to the District of Columbia bill, I am pleased that

the majority and minority in the Congress were able to come together

to pass a version that I can sign. While I continue to object to

remaining riders that violate the principles of home rule, some of

the highly objectionable provisions that would have intruded upon

local citizens' right to make decisions about local matters have

been modified from previous versions of the bill. My Administration

will continue to strenuously urge the Congress to keep such riders

out of the FY 2001 D.C. Appropriations Bill.



� I commend the Congress for providing the Federal funds I requested

for the District of Columbia. The bill includes essential funding

for District Courts and Corrections and the D.C. Offender

Supervision Agency and provides requested funds for a new tuition

assistance program for District of Columbia residents. The bill also

includes funding to promote the adoption of children in the

District's foster care system, to support the Children's National

Medical Center, to assist the Metropolitan Police Department in

eliminating open-air drug trafficking in the District, and for drug

testing and treatment, among other programs.



� Interior and Related Agencies Bill



� With respect to the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies

bill, I commend the Congress for agreeing on an acceptable

version-one that does not include most of the highly objectionable

provisions that would harm the environment and benefit special

interest groups by allowing the inappropriate use of national

forests and other public lands and resources.



� In particular, we have reached a fair compromise on millsite claims

under the 1872 Mining Law. Hardrock mining operations under existing

approved plans of operations, as well as applications for new mining

plans filed by the date of the Interior Solicitor's Opinion of

November 7, 1997, would go forward without the Department of the

Interior applying the five-acre-per-mining-claim millsite

limitation. The Department of the interior would impose this

limitation on plans for new hardrock mining operations filed after

November 7, 1997; it would also impose the limitation on amended

plans of operations filed after November 7, 1997, that add millsite




� Our agreement also will allow final rules to take effect in the

near future that will provide a fair return to the taxpayers for the

development of Federal oil resources; and will ensure more effective

environmental protection in hardrock mining on Federal lands.



� This bill provides two-thirds of the funds I requested for my Lands

Legacy initiative and represents a significant improvement over

prior-year funding, allowing us to protect such irreplaceable

national treasures as the Baca Ranch in New Mexico, the Everglades

in Florida, wilderness lands in the California Desert, and Civil War

battlefield sites that are threatened by urban sprawl. There is also

adequate support given to the Clean Water Action Plan. I am

especially pleased with the additional funding for the Forest

Service and for abandoned mine lands reclamation, which would make

significant progress in addressing acid mine drainage and watershed

problems in the Appalachian region. I look forward to working with

the Congress next year to provide full and permanent funding for my

Lands Legacy proposal, including full Federal and State funding for

the Land and Water Conservation Fund.



� My Administration has also been able to secure additional funding

for energy conservation, the single largest component of my Climate

Change Technology Initiative, which will help us to form the

partnerships with industry that are vital to the development of a

new generation of ultra-efficient cars, more efficient and

affordable housing, and more efficient, less-polluting industrial

processes. This progress will help us to address the threat of

global warming economically and practically.



� I commend the Congress for the historic $157.2 million increase for

Indian health, which is only slightly below the $172 million

increase the Administration sought for the Indian Health Service.

This funding increase represents a continuing demonstration of the

Federal commitment to improve the health status of Native Americans

and Alaska natives. I also commend the Congress for the removal of

an objectionable rider that would have infringed on tribal

sovereignty, and for providing specific funding to accommodate new

contracts with tribes.



� Although I am disappointed that the Congress has failed to increase

funding for the National Endowment for the Arts for the eighth

straight year, I am pleased with the generally positive debate and

the first increase in 4 years in funding for the National Endowment

for the Humanities.



� The bill also contains language on the American Heritage Rivers

initiative. I believe that the congressional language is unnecessary

and unfortunate. I will direct the Departments funded by this bill,

within existing laws and authorities, to continue to support and

undertake community-oriented services or environmental projects on

rivers I have recognized as part of the initiative.



� By increasing critical funding for land conservation efforts and

removing harmful environmental provisions, the legislation

represents a step for-ward in efforts to protect the environment and

manage Federal lands and resources responsibly.



� Disaster Assistance



� I am pleased that the bill includes over $500 million in additional

funds for our Nation's farmers, ranchers, and rural communities to

help them recover from natural disasters, particularly this year's

hurricanes. These funds will help farmers clear their streams and

fields for next year's crop, just as the $2.5 billion in loans

provided in the bill will help them secure the financing they need

for planting. Vitally needed funds are included to help low-income

rural families and farm laborers repair and replace housing damaged

by Hurricane Floyd, and low-interest loans will be available to

repair and replace farm structures and equipment lost in the storm.

In addition, $186 million is included for additional crop loss

payments across the country, including areas in the East that

suffered through one of the worst droughts in memory. The bill also

provides funding to implement the mandatory livestock price

reporting authority included in the Agriculture Appropriations Act,

which will make the livestock market more transparent and

particularly help small producers get a fair price for their

livestock in the market.



� Authorization Bills/Other Issues



��The bill also includes a provision that would delay the Department

of Health and Human Services's Organ Procurement and Transplantation

Network Final Rule for a minimum of 42 days from the bill's

effective date. This Final Rule is in response to my

Administration's belief that the current organ allocation policies

by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network are inequitable

because patients with similar severities of illness are treated

differently, depending on where they may live or at which transplant

center they may be listed.



� The Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act-part of the Intellectual

Property and Communications Omnibus Reform Act of 1999-will increase

the ability of satellite companies to compete against cable

companies, and will result in more customer choice, lower prices,

and increased access to local news and information. This Act puts

the TV remote control back into consumers' hands and competition at

their fingertips. In addition, the patent reform legislation that

the Administration has fought for will help meet the needs of

America's inventors and entrepreneurs. It strengthens protection in

a number of Nways: it extends the term of a patent when there is an

administrative delay in the patent process; it requires the timely

domestic publication of patent applications that are also filed

abroad; and it reinvents the Patent and Trademark Office as a

performancebased organization to better serve America's

entrepreneurs and innovators.



� Unfortunately, the Congress did not fund my additional request to

protect the Nation's critical computer and information based

infrastructures from a growing threat of cyber attack from hostile

nations, terrorists, or criminals.



� In order that $68 million in interest accrued by the Abandoned Mine

Land Fund (to be transferred to the United Mine Workers of America

Combined Benefits Funddesignated by the Congress as an emergency

requirement) not be scored against the discretionary spending caps,

I hereby designate that amount as an emergency requirement pursuant

to section 251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit

Control Act of 1985, as amended. I will shortly be designating other

funds in this legislation as emergency requirements.



� Finally, there are several provisions in the bill that purport to

require congressional approval before Executive Branch execution of

aspects of the bill. I will interpret such provisions to require

notification only, since any other interpretation would contradict

the Supreme Court ruling in INS vs. Chadha.



� William J. Clinton



� The White House November 29, 1999.



� NOTE: H.R. 3194, approved November 29, was assigned Public Law No.

106-113. This statement was released by the Office of the Press

Secretary on November 30.



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